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Cowboys News: Cowboys start making personnel moves with the trade of Everson Griffen

Plus, a vote of confidence for Mike McCarthy

Dallas Cowboys v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

Cowboys trade DE Everson Griffen to Lions for conditional sixth-round pick - Lakisha Wesseling, NFL.com

When Everson Griffen was signed by the Cowboys shortly before the start of the season, it was seen as a huge addition to a team with a loaded pass rush. Nearly halfway through the season Dallas has already decided to move on from the underperforming defensive end.

For the Cowboys, this trade allows them to send half of the $6 million in salary to the Lions during a tough season, Rapoport added.

The veteran pass rusher won’t be available Sunday against the Colts because of COVID-19 protocols, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported. Griffen’s debut with the Lions is expected to be Nov. 8 against the Minnesota Vikings.

Griffen was drafted by the Vikings in 2010 and played 10 years before signing a one-year deal with the Cowboys this season. In seven games with the Cowboys, he recorded 2.5 sacks, 10 tackles and one pass defensed. On Monday, Rapoport reported the Cowboys had put Griffen on the trading block and by Tuesday he was headed to Detroit.

Jerry Jones Backs Mike McCarthy Despite Cowboys’ Struggles: ‘I Got My Man’ - Joseph Zucker, Bleacher Report

Mike McCarthy may be in his first year with the Cowboys and enduring a whole host of injuries, but it hasn’t saved him from discussions about a potential firing. Don’t ask Jerry Jones about that, though, as he apparently isn’t fond of the idea.

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has thrown his support behind head coach Mike McCarthy despite the team’s 2-5 start.

“I got my man,” Jones said of Mike McCarthy on Tuesday during an appearance on 105.3 The Fan.

Jones then got a bit frustrated when asked if Dallas has a “leadership void”:

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones apologizes after telling radio host to ‘shut up’ - Todd Archer, ESPN

Jerry Jones got testy on Tuesday when asked about there potentially being a leadership void in the locker room, and he gave a strong vote of confidence to Mike McCarthy. However, he also walked back his initial retort, revealing how frustrating this season has been so far.

“Well, just shut up and let me answer,” Jones said while interrupting Shan Shariff. “No [he doesn’t see a leadership void].”

As Shariff attempted to reframe the question about what Jones sees when he walks into the locker room, Jones said, “You’re not asking me that. I gave you the answer. When I go into the locker room, there’s no leadership void in my eyes. Now that’s your answer. Let’s move on.”

Jones later apologized for the exchange.

“If I were a little abrupt there, then I really don’t want to have our day start that way. You’re too good of men for that,” Jones said. “This certainly isn’t my most tactful time, you might say, with this thing, as we discuss these matters. I’m disappointed for our fans. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am. It was not the plan at all.

Ex-Jets WR Keyshawn Johnson has stunning idea for who Cowboys should hire to replace Mike McCarthy - Mike Rosenstein, NJ.com

Jerry Jones may not have plans on firing Mike McCarthy after just one year on the job, but others do. Keyshawn Johnson not only thinks the Cowboys should move on, but he has a name already in mind for the Cowboys’ not-yet-vacant job.

Former New York Jets wide receiver and current ESPN analyst Keyshawn Johnson said Monday on “First Take” it’s time for Cowboys owner Jerry Jones to make a bold move. “I’d blow it up and go get Jim Harbaugh,” Johnson said.

Harbaugh, currently the head coach at Michigan, has previous NFL head coaching experience with the San Francisco 49ers, taking them to Super Bowl XLVII, which they lost to the Baltimore Ravens.

NFL Insider: Not surprised if Cowboys part ways with Jaylon Smith - Steven Mullenax, The Landry Hat

Jaylon Smith was once one of the NFL’s most feel-good stories, but his play the past two seasons hasn’t made anyone feel good. The chatter that Albert Breer reported on Tuesday indicates that Smith may be in his last year in Dallas if things don’t turn up soon.

Here’s what Albert Breer of Sports Illustrated wrote on Monday about what he’s hearing concerning Dallas possibly moving on from Jaylon Smith soon. (Correction – Original credit was given to Conor Orr rather than Albert Breer for the below quote)

“A well-established fact within the walls of the Cowboys’ facility: LB Jaylon Smith hasn’t played up to his contract over the last year and a half. In fact, I know people there have been alarmed how often he’s at the heart of big plays made against the Dallas defense. I believe he’s got a pretty important couple months ahead, and it wouldn’t shock me if he’s gone after the year, regardless of who’s running the defense.”

With the trade deadline nearing, it seems unlikely that any NFL team would choose to tackle Smith’s back-loaded contract. It’s a deal scheduled to pay him well north of $40 million in base salary over its final four years, ending in 2025 according to spotrac.com.

Dallas Cowboys Paying The Price For Signing Ezekiel Elliott - Brian Goff, Forbes

The Cowboys are currently fielding a terrible defense and an offense that’s incapable without Dak Prescott, and it’s caused a lot of people to once again question Ezekiel Elliott’s place in this organization.

With player expenditures limited by salary caps, there is a direct tradeoff between paying a lot to one player or position and what gets paid out across other positions. The current hit to their salary cap from the Elliott deal is about $11 million, which is third highest on the team. That kind of money can buy a top-shelf safety or cornerback or a couple of good defensive tackles, linebackers, or defensive backs – positions where Cowboys’ defenders have graded out near the bottom of the league according to Pro Football Focus’ evaluation system.

Beyond the big payday and salary cap hit from the Elliott signing, the Cowboys selected him as the 4th overall pick in the 2016 draft. The high selection carries a huge tradeoff in terms of other players passed up. Jalen Ramsey, a premier defensive back, was still on the board and several other solid defensive players were available as well. Also, the high pick could have been swapped for a couple of picks later in the first or second round to stock the defensive pantry.

Elliott is just the latest “poster player” for the maxim that paying running backs a lot of money doesn’t make much sense in the current NFL. They are still useful, but paying a premium is limited by several factors:

Ex-Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant is emotional after joining Ravens practice squad: ‘I can’t stop crying’ - Patrik Walker, CBS Sports

Dez Bryant has taken a long road in getting back to the NFL since he left Dallas and tore his ACL before playing a game with the Saints. Now, Bryant is getting very close to making his comeback.

“My emotions running high right now,” he said, via Twitter. “I’m thankful. I can’t stop crying.”

It’s been a winding road for Bryant to get to Baltimore, but it’s finally come together. The three-time Pro Bowl receiver initially got a multi-year offer from the Ravens in 2017, but instead opted to sign the aforementioned one-year deal with the Saints, citing his wish to re-establish himself as one of the best in the league before committing to a long-term deal with an NFL team. In August ahead of the 2020 season, the Ravens would revisit signing Bryant, flying him in for a workout that didn’t immediately yield an offer.

Now, in October, he’s one passed physical away from finally suiting up for the Ravens practice squad, putting him one nod away from being on the team’s active roster at a moment’s notice.

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